Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Sometimes Celebration

Sometimes

Everything is perfect

Sometimes

Joy fills the air

Sometimes 

just as God works all to His good

Sometimes 

we see it, experience it

and can celebrate it.

Sometimes

there is no sorrow

Sometimes

there is no pain

Sometimes

we smile, laugh, rejoice

*

Always

God is good

Always

He is watching over

Always

He loves

protects and

Sometimes 

we receive

Then our hearts

make gladness

when we do.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Today I said goodbye: a poem

Today

an ordinary morning

began early 

with business

merging into reflection

time with music

in the background

familiar tunes

of spiritual songs

without words this time

just me

my Bible

memories

and you.

*

Today 

I said goodbye 

aloud

softly, still

out loud

and cried

at the thought

of your spirit

present yet far

rejoicing 

distance too far

for me to join.

*

Today

I wish

without fret

that you might have stayed

not ill

not dying

not gone

but here.

*

Today 

I said 

goodbye

knowing somehow

there is a difference

wishing there wasn’t

accepting you’re gone

regretting your strength

that kept you going

for so long

only to die

in the end

asleep

with Jesus

but not with me.

*

Today

I said

goodbye.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Asking Jesus: a poem

Life spreads before me

Death having passed

What is to be

Next for me?

*

Asking Jesus — all I want

Nothing better than his will

Will do for me

What is next?

*

As I wander through my mind

Wonder at all he’s planned

As he leads me

Where is best….

*

Searching through

A history of strife

Knowledge is one thing

Surrender is life.

*

Spirit lead me 

To Your destiny

Always I know

He’s best for me

*

Where you lead

I promise to go

Thankful I follow

Excited to be.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Impatience is Arrogance: a poem

Hurry up! 

I tell myself

anyone listening?

*

Hear my voice!

Not supplication 

but demand

*

Make a way

For me, my time

is short and you must obey.

*

Fruit of GOD

is patience

surrounded by Love.

*

Love not World

Rush not in self

wrapped in its own cloak

*

Impatience

impatient

demands its rights.

*

Selflessness…

sought

Impatience fruitless

arrogance its root.

*

Uproot it!

Cleanse now the heart

revoke demand.

*

Purity lives

Simplicity

covers me in Love

*

Grace abound

No more demand

peace — not hurried stress.

*

Let my heart

learn to take time:

be still and know Love.

*

We’re not God

Nor God of time

Love lead on.

*

Tomorrow

Comes after 

day unto day.

*

Love this life

Learn patience

humility lives

*

Arrogance

Dies the death

when Love leads on.

*

Sacrifice

Our time moves on

live our moments

*

Breath of life

Love of man

breath humility

over me.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

Highway Hallelujah (driving freedom)

Driving

at 60.

Windswept with windows 

wide 

open

Bocelli bellows beautifully

and I am

Alive.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

What is Grief

Grief 

is like 

a feather

light

brief

floating

like a leaf

in a gentle breeze

waiting to be struck

let loose

to drift

without destiny

to uncertainty

like a thought

fleeting

forgotten detail

but essence remembered.

*

Grief 

is like 

a moment

a breath

a wish

too delicate to articulate

and yet impenetrable force

that interferes 

from time to time

but mostly just hangs

in the background

unspeaking

yet loud.

*

Grief

is like 

loneliness

it sits

and waits

for attention

that may never come

but when it does

it floods and moans

and quakes

at the presence of

notice.

*

Grief

is quiet

still

and strong

relentlessly

loyal

unquenchably

patient

and faithful.

*

Grief 

is like the tide

ebbing

flowing

never-ending

waves of power

spraying

mist of memory

mixed with 

hope

of something different

outcome fixed

but still

incredible

defeated

yet hopeful

grief is consoled

forgiven

forgotten

replaced with 

love, tranquility

and grace.

*

Grief

is not loss

but memory

of what was lost

becoming warm

and perfect

and mystical

contentment

rises

grief subsides

and life continues

somewhat changed

but fervent

hopeful

unashamed.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Life is in the Blood – fourth phase of Covid: Aftermath part 1 Why did Alan Die?

Why did Alan die?

Who are the crowd of witnesses that is mentioned only once in scripture, in Hebrews 12:1, 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

Is Alan amongst that crowd now, cheering those of us who remain on earth to finish our race? Is he cheering me, and Jordan, and Izzie, and others? Is he interceding with Jesus on our behalf, or for members of his family who have not yet recognised Jesus as their personal and the world’s saviour?

And what of 1 Thessalonians? Chapter 4:13-18 states, 

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

We who are wide awake await, along with those who are asleep, for the return of Jesus… which I take to mean that, like us, they are wait for the return of Jesus to earth, though they are in the heavenly realm while we are on the earth, until we meet all again when we are all joined with Jesus in the air.

Perhaps to the LORD there is no difference where the saints are, though for us, we feel great loss at the departure of those who have fallen asleep.

SPIRITUALLY: 

And as for Alan?

One thought: His character had reached the level where he was ready to do what he’s called to do with the LORD.

We are put on this earth for a reason. When we have grown to the level of character that we are called to grow to, we can then go on to complete the works that we are meant to do with GOD.

Alan had reached his level of character. And so perhaps he was given the opportunity to go. That is my explanation, in a spiritual sense, of why Alan went to sleep.

Alan fought hard to remain with us, out of love for us, not out of clinging to life. He had reached a level of desire fully and completely, to surrender to our God. It has been our passion, both of us, to live our lives fully in the spirit, for many months — perhaps even for years. It is still my passion to live a perfectly loving and surrendered life, to do the miracles that Jesus performed, to be full of the grace and truth of GOD.

In the ordeal that was Alan’s illness, we both attained a measure of maturity we didn’t really manage to discuss but we encapsulated it in this instruction we gave to one another to,

“Walk on water”

Alan knew when he left me, that I was able to walk on water and so he could, with peace in his heart, leave me to go where he so wanted to be. We have both been promoted: togetherness is what marriage is about, and advancement is what the Kingdom of GOD is about.

Alan loved. He had huge grace towards others. He did not leave us because that would be unloving. But exhausted physically, he had to stop fighting for life. And he entrusted our lives on earth to me, and I must be ready to take on the responsibility on my own.

I suppose I’ve considered that, if the Lord thinks that I can cope, then I must be able to cope.

What is gone… What remains

Alan and I so wanted to work in joint ministry. I encouraged him to write his teachings, but it wasn’t something he felt compelled to do. He encouraged me to build on my singing ministry, though I felt that season had largely passed. We had ideas but lacked thorough clarity for Sabbath Rest Ministries, a Ministry that we launched but which in the main lay dormant. What I noticed in the last couple of sessions of the Bible school which he lead was that he was even preaching, something he was not originally gifted to do. One dear friend said his teaching on Revelation Bible Study had been promoted too, to a deeper richer level after years of experience.

I was left here because I had grown to the level of character where I could be entrusted to manage without Alan…. to be entrusted with his children, to be entrusted with the level of theological understanding that we were both given together. Yes, Alan was the Bible teacher, and wonderful at it. But theologically, we were very much together in our understanding, love and total trust in GOD’s word and in the finer points of theology.

Revelations: Church of Philadelphia

There is one more related scripture I’d like to highlight in the pursuit to understand “why Alan died”.

Revelations 3:10 states, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

Is it possible that the LORD took Alan before tribulation, peril, the end of the world as we know it, simply so he would not have to endure the heartache of the falling world completely fallen?

Verse 12 says, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more….” Is that what Alan is doing now? I he a pillar in our Lord’s temple? Hallelujah, that is a mighty encouraging thought.

Conclusion

And so, why did Alan die? His body was done. But that is only the visible aspect. Alan died because he was ready to live elsewhere, ready to be used of GOD in the way GOD would want to use him, fully surrendered to Him in a way that we call “glory”.

Alan left my presence because I could be trusted. That I find totally encouraging. I miss him, long for him. But I’ve processed until in some deep measure I have answered why? I have peace, knowing Alan is right where he wants to be: in harmony with the Holy Spirit, in discovery of the answers to questions he could not fathom out in his own study of the Bible, and full of absolute joy.

During one recent church service, I felt the LORD’s presence upon me and He said, “Alan is worshipping in total freedom now”.

For those not of faith, how can I know this? It is my life’s work, hope and mission to know GOD better. The test is the fruit. The fruit born out of the pain, prayer and suffering that Alan endured in his illness and I endured alongside him in spiritual prayer, has manifested in more love, more hope, more joy, more goodness. These are called the “fruits of the Spirit” and they ripened in Alan and are ripening in me.

Praise the LORD. If we pursue Truth it will always be revealed and manifested. If we seek, we will find. GOD is consistent and He is good in honouring His Word. Thank you LORD for guiding me until I have had revelation of why Alan died. In his death there is more opportunity for those who love the LORD to grow, which was Alan’s passion. And for those who don’t yet embrace GOD, they may consider why Alan lived the way he did. A peek into a Bible which meant so much to Alan, will help an unbeliever to discover the secrets of Alan’s heart and mine.

MEDICALLY: 

Leviticus 17:11 states “the life is in the blood…”

The medics kept thinning Alan’s blood in order to prevent clotting and to bring down the heart rate. It did neither, though it rendered Alan weak and feeble and prolonged his life. The doctors weren’t able to see the connection between Alan’s continual weakness and the thinning of his blood.

I asked for vitamins to boost the “life” in Alan, but except for Vitamin D they rejected any other request, citing no medical proof the vitamins did any good. I specifically asked for Zinc and CoQ10; they declined.

I believe wholeheartedly that the doctors did all they knew how to do. But they could not attack the virus (that was finally defeated when I saw two spiders and D and I prayed until the spiritual attackers were dead, dead, dead) and they did not recognise by thinning the blood they were extracting the life out of my husband. 

In the end, his small intestines died, either from malnutrition or blood clots, the former eluded to just before his death, the latter cited on the death certificate.

I am not bitter or angry. I am sad that my husband died and didn’t need to have died. And yet, I pray this message reaches doctors and the public: 

“Mankind needs GOD. Britain needs GOD. Doctors are not GOD, nor is the NHS  (National Health Service), nor is the government. Although all these parties do their best, they are a small, weak, minuscule power against death and darkness compared to GOD.”

Alan is in a better place now, and will never grow old. That is a bittersweet truth. I am left raising a beautiful young man on my own, yet with a host of family and friends who love us both dearly. 

Lesson for me, for us all

It is still too soon to know all the lessons that I will receive from the loss of Alan’s life on earth, but there will be more, of that I am certain. 

There are short term lessons such as, I have learned how to receive and that I am valued and loved for myself; I have seen how my son matured through the experience of my husband’s illness. I have experienced the role of conductor as I sought spiritual prayer warriors to pray Alan to health. But Alan did not have to die in order for me to learn these lessons. These lessons and more were learned through the trial and not his death.


Perhaps one lesson through this is for us all: To trust GOD and accept His will, and discover that death can come even when the LORD does not will it. Could this be true? Can a sovereign GOD not be sovereign? 

Where do man’s actions and God’s will intersect and where do they divide or run parallel, I do not know. The body of the man died, but his should and spirit live on.

GOD said to me repeatedly and confirmed it through others also, “Alan will recover”. God is not a liar. And Alan did revive and recover — though only to pass away ultimately. So how is it that Alan was not restored to life? He did not return home to thrive as was believed by thousands praying. 

With the very best of intent, man intervened and destroyed that possibility. Man is finite where GOD is infinite. That, for now, is what I know.

May GOD bless each and every one who reads this post, and may you find encouragement, enrichment and continue to thrive as you develop your relationship with the Father of All.

Amen

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Umbrella of Hope

Does anyone know 

the depth of your power

the strength of your love

the force of your will?

All have fallen short

from grace we descend

to mercy and love

pleading forgiveness.

Does anyone know

the height of your cover

the breadth of your presence

the umbrella of hope?

Forever we yearn

forever we strive

forever we bend —

refusing to break.

Does anyone know

the truth of your Word

the language of trust

the heart of you?

Does anyone know

who You really are?

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Three keys to following Jesus

In my walk with Jesus as a believer, I have realised three keys to following Jesus. These are:

  1. recognising the grace of GOD in my life, 
  2. having a hopeful attitude in life, and 
  3. being aware my perspective toward others must be to put others first.

These are the three keys to my life today, as a follower of Jesus.

Grace of GOD

I have been overwhelmed at the amount of grace GOD has provided as I adjust to the death of my husband. The LORD has upheld me and my teenage son, and others in the family. He has made us stronger than one could ever imagine; we are detached from emotionalism or self pity, wise beyond our experience in how to allow ourselves to grieve without being swamped by the grief, and have been dowsed in the prayer of many others. His grace has been enormous.


Recently, I became particularly aware of His grace through His lifting of some of it.

In the last month, I have been extremely busy with work to do. I have had to focus and have had less time than previously to process all the thoughts, spiritual questions, and paperwork which has arisen with Alan’s passing and my being the sole executor of his estate. When the work arose I thought, “Well, the LORD must think I can manage.”

As I engaged in my responsibilities, I continued to spend time with the LORD, but regrettably less, as I had so much taking up my time. Then I became aware that I was reacting with irritation or impatience as I had been before Alan became ill… part of my flesh which was then burnt away, I thought, through his illness and passing. But here it was again, and I didn’t like it.

I did have confirmation through a faithful and courageous sister in the LORD who spoke to me, gently, that I was not showing thoughtfulness as I might otherwise show. Her word to me was confirmation of what I was already sensing: I need the grace of GOD to live, breathe and move forward in life.

The Lesson: Never underestimate the power and range of God’s grace, and never underestimate its importance and value. 

Hopeful attitude

I made a decision when my husband died to trust the LORD, even though I’d lost my husband.

No matter what happens in life, the sovereignty of GOD will carry us when we allow it.

The Lesson: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart….”

Putting others first

I am a diligent worker, responsible, reliable, organised. That’s all good, but sometimes I get tunnel vision. I am told that I am a loving and a kind person. However, there are plenty of times I can confess to allowing the need to get a job done to take priority over my love toward others. 

Something happened to me during the weeks and months of Alan’s hospitalisation… I relaxed about the “to do’s” in my life. Everything was put aside to engage with Alan, and with the LORD, to secure Alan’s recovery. After Alan passed away, this translated to the care of family and friends in their grieving as well.

By nature I’m pragmatic. While I don’t want to lose the qualities that enable me to get a job done, I don’t want to forfeit the nature I’ve acquired more recently to put the needs of others before the need to get a job done.

The Lesson: God gives us enough hours to do the things that need to be done. We don’t need to lose sensitivity and patience in the process of fulfilling our responsibilities. My nature does not need to be dictated by how much I have to do.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Transformation: life with — and without Alan: a reflection

I woke up this morning and for just a second, I forgot my husband was dead. It gave me the opportunity to recognise how much GOD has been transforming me, as well as the gift of experiencing once again, however briefly, life with Alan.

And when I remembered life with Alan, I felt whole. 

I’m able to contrast how different the feeling inside of me is, from what I used to live. No matter how much courage the LORD provides, no matter how much assurance I feel, no matter how safe I am, there is a hole. By his grace, I have avoided self pity. By his grace, I do not wake in the morning in floods of tears or weighed down with a sense of grief. Supernaturally, the LORD has covered me and through the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ, for which I am hugely grateful, I am okay:) But there is a hole where Alan was in my life and life for just a second this morning did not have that hole. I was freer, lighter and more assured, just for a split second. Thank you LORD for revealing the contrast, because in the contrast, I can see a little of the pathway you are carving out for me…

Processing life

I have a tendency to process my thoughts and feelings. By process I mean “to put into context who I am in Jesus”, where I am going, and where I came from.  What I’m about to write is candid, earnest, and a reflection of my innermost thoughts. I do this because I hope it will be useful to someone else, and because I’m lacking people to talk to who have known me for much of my life. My husband of 28 years is gone, my family is far away, my parents passed away some time ago, and friends and Christian family around me have not known me very long. This is partly because we moved around quite a bit and so roots are shallow — because of the relatively short space of time I’ve lived where I am now, and partly because like most people, I don’t reveal myself completely, I’m not surrounded by people who know me really well. I hide, or try to hide, the imperfections, and put on my kindest, warmest persona in public.


But like so many of us, I am deeply imperfect. 

Yesterday I had a conversation with a sister in Christ. Apparently, I had spoken a couple of things in a prayer meeting that jarred with others. It’s really good that this sister came forward to share with me, and also really good that we could have an honest conversation. There was no defensiveness in me, and no blame from her. Hallelujah! GOD was present in us both. To describe the conversation will take me on a tangent but it is important to the point I am seeking to make in this post which is that GOD is available in every moment, every encounter.

We chatted as women do… Then she said that a couple of people had come to her after our most recent online meeting, unsettled by a couple of things I’d said. Would I mind if she told me what was was their concern?

I like honesty, however, history reared its head and I thought of gossip and hearsay and the pain that these has caused in my life. So I said that I prefer when someone speaks to me directly.

But in the end we both clarified and she went ahead to say that by my encouraging a two people in the meeting, in fact I had therefore discouraged those whom I hadn’t encouraged. I never saw encouragement/discouragement in that light before. 

Secondly, I had made a theological point in the meeting which is that when we overcome something, we gain in the Spirit, an authority over it. I used Covid as an example, which I have had and have overcome (and I suppose I should have used back aches or something less inflammatory). I suspect like the first example, the others took me to mean I have authority in something others haven’t, which is not what I said, nor what I meant, but nevertheless my words carry responsibility and I had spoken somewhat carelessly.

My sister knew I did not intend to hurt and she was gracious. She wondered if I might be feeling a strain after Alan had passed away. I also shared that in the last few weeks I had felt pushed in busyness beyond my comfort zone, and had spent relatively little time to be still with the LORD, which I craved.

Busyness

I have noticed for a few weeks, maybe up to four, that I have had far less time to sit with the LORD, and have been drawing on my inner resources to do some work that needs to be done. Today I noticed I was a little short-tempered with a customer service person who had rung me for information on a kitchen delivery*. Oh, fortunately, I didn’t lose my temper, but internally, I was tense and I know that reflected onto our conversation.

I have been making a lot of decisions lately: the paperwork mostly finished as the executor to Alan’s estate, the result is income coming in and responsibility for decision-making going out, and a little arrogance at my ability to manage has likely crept in.

Manage is a relative term of course. Firstly, if our temperament is affected or our character hampered, we are not really coping or managing. I firmly believe that to the degree we are in our own strength rather than moving with the Holy Spirit, that is a degree of failure. We all are failed and that’s why we need Jeshua / Jesus. I assure you dear reader, that am not being hard on myself. By his grace, I have come a long way in the 35+ years walking with Him, Hallelujah! But with Alan’s passing, a huge anointing/covering/blessing has been put into, over or upon me, and some of that has receded in recent weeks, largely due to a lack of time spent being still with GOD.

I think the LORD revealed to me this morning where I was in my spiritual journey a few months ago by giving me a glimpse of life before Alan died, so I could see how much in these few months since his illness, I have grown.

And I think the phone call from a dear sister give me a glimpse of how I’d fallen a little out of that growth in recent days.

Always thanking GOD

Every encounter, every moment, we are graced by GOD. Sometimes I wonder, have we been over-trained in spiritual warfare and do we sometimes look at discomfort in our lives as an attack, rather than as a lesson or warning? We can embrace the moments of discomfort as part of our learning, and when we do, we gain self discovery and a deepening of Jesus within us.

A fine balance between confidence and humility, arrogance and inner strength

What I have learned is that all goodness, all good gifts, truly do come from GOD. I am not a good person without Him. I am not a kind person without Him. I am not a wise person without Him.

By His grace and His grace alone, I am living without feeling miserable today — or any day. By his love, I am loving. Through His joy, I laugh. By His mercy I am able to cry — to release sadness — and then to feel alive again.

I need the grace of GOD

I need the grace of GOD in my life more than I’ve ever needed it before, because I have more decisions, more encounters, more responsibility than I have ever had before. His grace has been carrying me, and I ask LORD, please fill me with continually with your grace.

Apology


To anyone I’ve grieved recently, I’m truly sorry. To anyone I’ve been abrupt with or impatient with, I apologise. To anyone I’ve not expressed gratitude at a kindness, please forgive me. To anyone to whom my words have brought confusion, I am sorry, for GOD is not the author of confusion.

I am not my normal self. Folks will give me a lot of latitude for that, because out of compassion they recognise I am a recent widow and I am going through a difficult time; I fully appreciate their grace. But also, by His grace, and only His grace, I hope I never will be the same again, because I hope He will continue to improve me and grow me.

I want to continue with “The Life is in the Blood” journey of Alan’s battle with Covid and his hospitalisation because, in a way, it speaks for Alan. I’ve not posted anything of it in the last few weeks. I hope you’ll bear with me when there are breaks. 

Every blessing.

* Alan and I purchased some rental flats which I’ve been managing for fourteen years; one of them has needed a new kitchen for some time and a recent vacancy has allowed me the opportunity to have one installed.